The 24th Sunday after the Festival of the Holy Trinity

also known as  The 26th Sunday of the Pentecost Season

and as  Christ the King Sunday

November 22, 2020

Our King of Kings  and Lord of Lords


                  In ancient Israel a festival day known as Rosh Hashana was held once a year.   It marked the start of the Jewish new year and was a day of thanksgiving for God’s benevolence. On that day, as several of the psalms attest – including our Psalm for today (Psalm 96) – the LORD was symbolically enthroned as the Ruler of Israel. “Yahweh malak!”  was what the people shouted in Hebrew….“The Lord reigns.”  

            Today is Christ The King Sunday, also known as “The Sunday of Fulfillment” as well as “The Last Sunday of the Church Year.”  It’s a day customarily set aside for Christians to reflect upon what it means to have Jesus Christ as our “King.”   Unfortunately, throughout much of our lives most of us have treated our King, Christ Jesus,  the way that modern countries often treat their “constitutional monarchs” — more like a figurehead, a symbol, rather than as someone with real authority in my life.   Yet, if Jesus Christ truly is our King of Kings and Lord of Lords – and He is – we have to acknowledge Him be our real  King….not just a figurehead….and in so doing, to acknowledge His right to rule benevolently over our lives.  That theme will be the focus of our worship today.

            It has long been the custom in Christian Churches like ours (sometimes known as “liturgical [structured worship] churches” ) to focus our public worship and study attention during the month of November on what the Bible teaches concerning the Last Times and Judgment Day, about Heaven and Hell, as well as the importance of our being spiritually prepared either for Christ’s Second Coming to judge the world, or for the moment of death (at which point eternity for us will begin).    The purpose behind this is so that we might maintain a proper understanding of what the Lord teaches us in Scripture about how the world will end, about what will take place on the Last Day, and about why these are teachings which are not only important for us to know, but which can – and should – be very edifying and encouraging for our Christian faith.   

            At Grace Lutheran Church we typically maintain this custom/tradition by following what has come to be known as “the Church Calendar.”   Through the course of a twelve month period that begins in late November/early December with the season of Advent (this year…next Sunday, November 29th), then follows with the Christmas, Epiphany, Lent and Easter seasons, and concludes with the half-year long Pentecost/Trinity season, we try to devote our public worship and study time in God’s Word to an organized, systematic approach that studies God’s Word in order to cover both the major events of Christ’s life and the principal ways that we Christians live out our lives of faith for our good and especially for God’s glory. 


Today’s Scripture Lessons

            Today’s Old Testament Lesson connects Christ, as King, to the royal line of King David, referring to Him as the Branch growing out of Jesse (David’s father).           In our Epistle Lesson, on which G.F. Handel based his famous “Hallelujah Chorus,” Jesus is acclaimed by the saints in heaven as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.   This morning’s Gospel Lesson is one of the very traditional “end times” Scripture readings:   Christ’s description of  the Final Judgment.   We especially want to focus our attention on the position and authority of the returning Christ on that day – He will be coming back in glory and honor, attended by the angels, as the Sovereign King and Lord of heaven and earth.   In that position, He will also carry out His kingly responsibility to judge all of humanity – assigning to unbelievers their earned place of eternal punishment in hell, and to believers their place (by God’s grace alone) of everlasting bliss in heaven.   Please note also that the deeds of charity, mercy, etc. which are highlighted in this reading are not the means by which believers “earn” a place in heaven.   Heaven is ours by God’s grace through faith in the redeeming work of our Savior.   Rather, these deeds demonstrate the reality of our faith in Christ “in action” (“You did it FOR ME”).               Our Children’s Lesson for this morning is part of John’s introduction to the book of Revelation.  Here he presents Jesus to his readers as our awesome heavenly King, Who is the Eternal God, Who has Redeemed us, and Who is coming as the Righteous Judge to judge the world on the Last Day and to deliver His Church into glory.   Please also note in this reading that John touches on a wide range of other important Biblical teachings.  He speaks about the True God as being Triune (the Father = Who is, Who was, and Who is to come [v.4];  the Holy Spirit = the seven spirits; and Christ = the faithful Witness, Firstborn from among the dead, and Ruler of the earth).  He also describes the reconciling work of Christ (Who loves us, freed us from our sins by His blood, and has made us a kingdom, priests).  You can even find an affirmation of the equality between the Father and the Son as they are described identically (Who is, Who was, and Who is to come — the Father is so described in verse 4 and the Son in verse 8).   Today we’ll use this portion of God’s Word to emphasize the role which Christ fills for us as our heavenly King.             Finally, our Sermon Text for today focuses on the dialog between Jesus and Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor who allowed the Jews to crucify Jesus.  Here, Pilate is brought to the realization that Jesus is a very different kind of king….not an earthly king, but one Whose kingdom is not of this world.   As we mediate upon this portion of Scripture, we’ll talk about and apply to our lives the comforting, encouraging  significance of this truth for each of us – that Jesus Christ alone is our true King of Kings and the only Lord of Lords we will ever need.




Prayer in Preparation for Worship:   Almighty God, Who has given Your only-begotten Son both as a Sacrifice for all my sins and also as an Example of godly living for me, in Your mercy grant that I will always regard these blessings with gratitude and also that I might daily endeavor to follow in the blessed footsteps of that same Savior.   Especially, today, as I meditate upon Your Holy Word, give me a receptive heart, that I might receive and apply Your instruction concerning my responsibility to forgive those who sin against me, and that I might gladly do so motivated by the unconditional forgiveness with which You have so graciously disposed of my sins, for Jesus’ sake.   It is in His name that I confidently offer this prayer.   Amen.



Scripture quotations in this worship flyer, unless otherwise noted,  are taken from

the EVANGELICAL HERITAGE VERSION of the Bible.  Copyright 2019

 by the Warburg Project.   All rights reserved.





Silent Prayer upon entering the sanctuary

Pre-service music                                                                                                                                              


We Praise Our God


The Welcoming and Introduction to Worship


At the Pastor’s invitation the Congregation will rise for the invocation


The Invocation


     Pastor       “We begin this service in the name of the Father”

     Congregation      Who gave us our lives through His almighty power.


     P:        “And of the Son”

     C:        Who redeemed our lives with His precious blood.


     P:        “And of the Holy Spirit”

     C:        Who gave us eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus.

     P:        Amen.



The Psalm for Today                                                                                                              Psalm 96:8-13



     P:   Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name. 

     C:        Bring a gift  and come into His courtyardss.

     P:        Bow down to the Lord in the splendor of His holiness.

     C:        Look away from His face,  all the earth.


      P:         Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns1”


     C:        The world is  firmly established.   

     P:        It will not be moved.  

     C:        He will judge the peoples with fairness.


     P:        Let the heavens rejoice.   Let the earth celebrate.

     C:        Let the sea roar and all that fills it.

     P:        Let the field be overjoyed  and everything that is in them.

     C:        Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy before the LORD,


     P:        for He comes to judge the earth.    He will judge the world in righteousness

     C:        and the peoples in His faithfulness.



The Opening Prayer for Today


In the name of God  +  the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  +  Amen.  +

My Heavenly Father,   +   I thank You through Jesus Christ,   +  Your dear Son,   +  for keeping me through the night   +  from all harm and danger.   +   Keep me through this day also   +   from sin and every evil   +   that all my doings and life may please You.    +    I commend my body and soul   +  and all things into Your hands.   +   Let Your holy angel be with me,   +  so that the devil may have no power over me.   +   Amen.


After which the Congregation will be seated for


The Opening Hymn                                                                                                     “Beautiful Savior”


1 Beautiful Savior,   King of creation,

Son of God and Son of Man!    Truly I’d love Thee,

Truly I’d serve Thee,   Light of my soul, my joy, my crown.


2 Fair are the meadows,    Fair are the woodlands,

Robed in flow’rs of blooming spring;   Jesus is fairer,

Jesus is purer;   He makes our sorr’wing spirit sing.


3 Fair is the sunshine,    Fair is the moonlight,

Bright the sparkling stars on high;   Jesus shines brighter,

Jesus shines purer   Than all the angels in the sky.


4 Beautiful Savior,    Lord of the nations,

Son of God and Son of Man!   Glory and honor,

Praise, adoration,   Now and forevermore be Thine!    Amen


Following the hymn, the Congregation will rise for



The  Confession Of Our Sins To God


Pastor     God, our Heavenly Father, invites us to come into His presence and to worship Him with humble and penitent hearts.  Therefore, let us now turn to Him, acknowledging our sinfulness and seeking His forgiveness for all our sins.


Congregation     Holy and merciful Father,   I confess that I am by nature sinful   and that I have disobeyed You in my thoughts, words, and actions;    I have done what is evil in Your sight   and have failed to do what is good.    For this I know that I deserve Your punishment, both now and for eternity.     But I am truly sorry for all my sins,   and trusting in the perfect life   and innocent death of my Savior,   Jesus Christ, I plead:   God have mercy on me, a sinner.


Pastor     Our gracious Lord and Master has shown us His mercy:   He has given His one and only Son to save us from all our sins.     And now, carrying out my office as a called servant of Christ,  and according to His command and authority,   I forgive you all your sins   in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  May the peace of God rest upon all of you.    Amen.


           In joyful response to this reassurance of God’s love and forgiveness for us in Christ, please join me now as we sing the praises of our gracious and majestic Lord:


“Majesty”                                                                                                      written by Jack Hayford, Rocksmith Music

                                                                                                          used with permission, CCLI # 13666699


Majesty, worship His majesty.   Unto Jesus, be all glory, honor and praise.

 Majesty….Kingdom authority,   flow from His throne,

unto His own, His anthem raise.

So exalt – lift up on high, the name of Jesus.

Magnify, come glorify, Christ Jesus the King.

  Majesty, worship His majesty.   Jesus Who died.

Now glorified.   King of all Kings.


After which the Congregation will be seated as


We Hear God’s Word


The Old Testament Lesson                                                                                                   Isaiah 11:1-10


A shoot will spring up from the stump of Jesse, and a Branch from his roots will bear fruit.

2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him:    the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,    the Spirit of counsel and might,   the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.


3 He will be delighted with the fear of the Lord.   He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,  nor will he render decisions based on what he hears with his ears,  4 but with righteousness he will judge the poor,  and he will render fair decisions in favor of the oppressed on the earth.   He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,  and with the breath from his lips he will put the wicked to death.   5 Righteousness will be the belt around his waist,  and faithfulness the belt around his hips.


6 The wolf will dwell with the lamb,  and the leopard will lie down with the young goat, the calf, the young lion, and the fattened calf together, and a little child will lead them.           7 The cow and the bear will graze together, and their young ones will lie down together.    The lion will eat straw like the cattle.    8 The nursing child will play near a cobra’s hole,  and the weaned child will put his hand into a viper’s den.   9 They will not hurt or destroy anywhere on my holy mountain,   for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

10 This is what will take place on that day. The peoples will seek the Root of Jesse, who will be standing like a banner for the peoples, and his resting place will be glorious.



The Epistle Lesson                                                                                                        Revelation 19:1-16


After these things I heard what seemed to be the loud sound of an immense crowd in heaven, saying:  Alleluia!  Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,   2     for his judgments are true and just,  because he has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality,   and he has avenged his servants’ blood that was shed by her hand.


3 A second time they said, “Alleluia! Her smoke goes up forever and ever.”   4 Then the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures bowed down and worshipped God, who sits on the throne, saying, “Amen! Alleluia!”   5 And from the throne came a voice that said, “Praise our God, all you his servants and you who fear him, small and great.”


6 And I heard what seemed to be the roar of a large crowd or the roar of many waters or the sound of loud rumblings of thunder, saying:   For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.   7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory,   because the wedding of the Lamb has come.  His bride has made herself ready,   8 and she was given bright, clean, fine linen to wear.  (In fact, the fine linen is the “not guilty” verdicts pronounced on the saints.)  9 The angel said to me, “Write: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb.” He also said to me, “These are the true words of God.” 10 And I bowed down at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers, who have the testimony about Jesus. Worship God. For the testimony about Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”


11 I saw heaven standing open, and there was a white horse! Its rider is called Faithful and True, and he judges and makes war in righteousness. 12 His eyes are like blazing flames, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him, which no one knows except he himself. 13 He is also clothed in a garment that had been dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies in heaven, which were clothed with white, clean, fine linen, were following him on white horses. 15 Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. He will shepherd them with an iron staff. He himself is going to trample the winepress of the fierce anger of the Almighty God. 16 On his garment and on his thigh this name is written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.



following which the Congregation will rise, out of respect for  the words of Christ


The Gospel Lesson                                                                                                         Matthew 25:31-46


31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. 36 I was lacking clothes and you clothed me. I was sick and you took care of me. I was in prison and you visited me.’


37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or lacking clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’


40 “The King will answer them, ‘Amen I tell you: Just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it for me.’


41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire, which is prepared for the Devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you did not give me food to eat. I was thirsty and you did not give me anything to drink. 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, lacking clothes and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not take care of me.’


44 “Then they will also answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger

 or lacking clothes or sick or in prison and did not serve you?’   45 “At that time he will answer them, ‘Amen I tell you: Just as you did not do it for one of the least of these, you did not do it for me.’ 46 And they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”



The Apostles’ Creed                                          sung to the melody of “What A Friend We Have in Jesus”


I believe in God the Father,   Maker of the heav’ns and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, our Savior, God’s own Son, of human birth.

Virgin born, the Lord incarnate,    Whom the Spirit did conceive,

Suffered under Pontius Pilate;     Our salvation to achieve.


Crucified, was dead and buried,    Down to hell in victory;

From the dead He rose the third day;    Up to heav’n triumphantly.

There at God’s right hand He’s ruling,     By His will the world is led.

He will come to judge the nations,    Both the living and the dead.


I believe in God the Spirit,    In His Church, His chosen band.

They are joined in close communion,    Holy in His sight they stand.

I believe in sins forgiven;    That the dead will rise again;

I believe in life eternal.    Amen!   Amen!   A – – men!



after which the Congregation will be seated for


The Children’s Lesson                                                                                                      Revelation 1:4-8


John, to the seven churches in the province of Asia:   Grace to you and peace from him who is, who was, and who is coming, and from the seven spirits that are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.


To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his own blood 6 and made us a kingdom and priests to God his Father—to him be the glory and the power forever. Amen.


7 Look, he is coming with clouds,   and every eye will see him,  including those who pierced him.  And all the nations of the earth will mourn because of him.  Yes. Amen.


8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, the one who is, and who was, and who is coming, the Almighty.

Our King and His Kingdom


The Hymn of the Day                                                                                “Crown Him With Many Crowns”


1 Crown Him with many crowns,    The Lamb upon His throne;

Hark how the heav’nly anthem drowns   All music but its own.

Awake, my soul, and sing   Of Him who died for thee,

And hail Him as thy matchless King   Through all eternity.


2 Crown Him the virgin’s Son,   The God incarnate born,

Whose arm those crimson trophies won   Which now His brow adorn;

Fruit of the mystic rose,   Yet of that rose the stem,

The root whence mercy ever flows,   The babe of Bethlehem.


3 Crown Him the Lord of Love,   Behold His hands and side,

Rich wounds, yet visible above,   In beauty glorified.

No angels in the sky   Can fully bear that sight,

But down-ward bends their wond’ring eyes   At mysteries so bright.


4 Crown Him the Lord of Life,   Who triumphed o’er the grave

And rose victorious in the strife   For those He came to save.

His glories now we sing,   Who died and rose on high,

Who died eternal life to bring   And lives that death may die.


5 Crown Him the Lord of heav’n,   Enthroned in worlds above,

Crown Him the King to whom is giv’n   The wondrous name of Love.

Crown Him with many crowns    As thrones before him fall; 

Crown Him, ye kings, with many crowns,   For He is King of all.    Amen

after which the Congregation will rise for


The Pre-Sermon Greeting


Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, our Lord! 




The Sermon Text                                                                                                                     John 18:33-37


33 Pilate went back into the Praetorium and summoned Jesus. He asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”    34 Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own, or did others tell you about me?”   35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?”   36 Jesus replied, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight so that I would not be handed over to the Jews. But now my kingdom is not from here.”   37 “You are a king then?” Pilate asked.

Jesus answered, “I am, as you say, a king. For this reason I was born, and for this reason I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”


What Is Your Response to the Kingship of Christ?


after the Sermon, the Congregation will REMAIN SEATED for the post-sermon blessing


The Post-Sermon Blessing


May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God our Father, Who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.  Amen.



We Respond To God’s Word through our Offering and Prayers


Our Offerings of Love to our Lord


Because we aren’t able to pass an offering plate today during today’s worship service, those in

attendance may leave their offerings in the offering plates by the exits at the close of our service.

For those watching today’s service, we offer you the following suggestions for providing God with Your thank-offerings through our ministry:  

1) You can mail a check (no cash) to the church address (415 N. 6th Place, Lowell, AR 72745)

2) You can go to our website ( and use the giving option.

At the Pastor’s invitation, the Congregation will rise for

Today’s Special Prayers

In our Prayers this morning we include:

A Prayer of Thanksgiving on behalf of JoAnn and Erich Diewock

who will celebrate their wedding anniversary this Thursday;

and also for

Andrea and Jim Taylor, whose wedding anniversary is this Thursday;


A Moment Of Silent Prayer


The Prayers of the Church          


     P: To Him Who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power for ever and ever!


     C: Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory.


     P:  You are worthy, O Christ our King, to receive honor and glory and praise, for You created all things and by Your will they were created and have their being.


C:  Alleluia! For our Lord God Almighty reigns!


P: You are worthy, O Christ our King, to receive honor and glory and praise because You were slain, and with Your blood You purchased us for God. From every tribe and language and people and nation You have called us into Your kingdom and have made us priests to serve You, our God and Father.


     C:  Help us to live as royal priests.


     P:  We give thanks to You, O Christ our Shepherd-King, because You have searched for us and found us. Lead us to the green pastures and quiet waters of Your saving love, so that we may enjoy peace and comfort for our souls.


     C:  Heal our hearts when they are broken with sin and guilt. Strengthen us when we are  weak.


P:  We give thanks to You, Lord God Almighty, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign. Come with Your mighty power to break and defeat every evil plan and purpose of the devil, of the ungodly influences and ideas of the world, and of our own sinful nature. Use Your power to calm the unrest among nations and peoples so that Your kingdom may spread and grow.


     C: Strengthen our confidence in knowing that Your kingdom will never be destroyed.

     P:  O Christ our King, You have supremacy over all. You will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity. You have destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. Reign in our hearts that we may serve You more faithfully and speak to others of Your saving love more boldly.

     C:  Praise be to the Lord God, Who alone does marvelous deeds. May the whole earth be filled with His glory.


     P: Look, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him. The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign for ever and ever, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.


     C:  The Lord God Almighty reigns! Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! Amen,  and Amen!


     P:  Finally, Eternal God!  Keep us all in Your saving faith, by which You enable us to overcome all things through the power of   and by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.  It is in His name that we offer this prayer, and now continue by praying:


C:  Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name;   Thy Kingdom come;  Thy will be done    on earth as it is in heaven;    Give us this day our daily bread;    And forgive us our trespasses,    as we forgive those who trespass against us;     And lead us not into temptation;     But deliver us from evil;  For Thine is the kingdom,  and the power,  and the glory,   forever and ever.  Amen.


After which the Congregation will be seated as


We Leave With The Lord’s Blessing


The Closing Scripture Reading                                                                                Revelation 22:10-22


10 The angel also said to me:    Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near.   11 Let the one who is unjust continue to be unjust.  Let the one who is filthy continue to be filthy.   Let the one who is just continue to do what is just.   Let the one who is holy continue to be holy.    12 Look, I am coming soon and my reward is with me, to repay each one according to what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. 14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the Tree of Life and so that they may enter through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, that is, the sorcerers, the adulterers, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.


16 I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the bright Morning Star.   17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears this say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come. Let the one who wants the water of life take it as a gift.   18 I give this warning to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book. 19 And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the Tree of Life and in the Holy City, which are written in this book.   20 The one who testifies about these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”


Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!       21 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with all the saints.   Amen.


The Benediction


The LORD bless you and keep you.

           The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you.

           The LORD look upon you with favor, and grant you His peace.   Amen.



The Closing Hymn               “O Savior, Precious Savior”


1 O Savior, precious Savior,  Whom yet unseen we love;

O Name of might and favor,   All other names above,

We worship Thee, we bless Thee,   To Thee, O Christ, we sing;

We praise Thee and confess Thee,   Our holy Lord and King.


2 O Bringer of salvation,   Who wondrously hast wrought, 

Thyself the revelation   Of love beyond our thought.

We worship Thee, we bless Thee,   To Thee, O Christ, we sing;

We praise Thee, and confess Thee,   Our gracious Lord and King.


3 In Thee all fulness dwelleth,   All grace and pow’r divine;

The glory that excelleth,    O Son of God, is Thine.

We worship Thee, we bless Thee,   To Thee, O Christ, we sing;

We praise Thee and confess Thee,    Our glorious Lord and King.


4 O grant the consummation    Of this our song above

In endless adoration    And everlasting love;

Then shall we praise and bless Thee   Where perfect praises ring,

And evermore confess Thee,   Our Saviour and our King!    Amen


Closing prayer, Announcements, Post-service music




Last Week at Grace Lutheran Church

Sunday Worship Attendance: 61             Bible Class: 16            Sunday School: 3

Budgetary Offerings:  $4170.00                          Capital Improvement Fund:   $1

Tuesday Morning Bible Study:   12                              Wednesday Bible Classes…..4 men;   5 women

Birthdays/Anniversaries                                     Nov 16 – Duane Pansegrau;     Nov 17 – Lisa Pudas;

Nov 17 – Pat Quinlan;       Nov 17 – Tina & John Wambold;    

 Nov 17 – Vicki & Vic Walker;         Nov 18 – Vince Larson;    


Serving Us Next Sunday         Elders:       Vic Walker and Tim Pfortmiller

Ushers:   Kent Mayer, Fred Cusanelli           Altar Guild: Tammy Schwartz, Linda Winnat

This Coming Week at Grace Lutheran Church

Today                  Morning Worship 9:30 a.m.

                             Bible Classes/Sunday School, 15 minutes after worship concludes

Nov 24 (Tues)    Morning Bible Class, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.  (In person/over-the-phone)

Nov 26 (Thurs)  THANKSGIVING DAY WORSHIP service, 9:30 a.m.

Nov 29 (Sun)     Morning Worship with the Lord’s Supper at 9:30 a.m.

                             Bible Classes/Sunday School, 15 minutes after worship concludes

                             Youth Confirmation, 12:00 to 1:15 p.m.

Dec 01 (Tues)     Morning Bible Class, 10:30 -11:30 a.m.  (In person and over-the-phone)

Dec 02 (Wed)     First Midweek Advent Worship Service, 7:00 p.m. (with

                             Communion)   Note..this service will be held in the chapel;  NOT our gym


Midweek Advent Services Ahead  – As part of our  preparation for celebrating our Savior’s birth, we’ll hold 3 midweek worship services in December.   The Advent season (Advent means “coming”) focuses especially on Christ’s first coming as a human to be our Savior from sin.  It’s purpose is to encourage repentance preparation for celebration.   This year’s services will be on the Wednesday evenings (7:00 p.m.) of December 2, 9, and 16.    The first midweek service will include the Lord’s Supper.   Please note that we will hold this first service in our chapel  instead of in the gymnasium (where we have been – and will continue to meet – on Sundays).  We’ll need to work together to observe safe distancing and wearing masks.   But this is  an opportunity for us to be “back in the church” building again.  Please join us!


Bible Classes This Week      Today our adult class continues its general study of notable believers from the past.   Today, we’ll be examining the story of Daniel.  Class starts 15 minutes after our service concludes.     Our Tuesday morning Bible Class (10:30 to 11:30;   both in-person and over-the-phone) resumes this week.  We’re working through the book of 2 Samuel, and this week will study the story of Absalom’s rebellion against David.   We’ll start with chapter 18.   With the Thanksgiving/Advent season immanently upon us, we will be suspending our Wednesday Bible studies for men and women until January.


DEVOTIONAL BOOKS FOR YOU,   In the entry are two devotional books that are available for everyone:  Meditations (our church body’s daily devotional booklet);  and “The Jesse Tree” (a collection of Advent devotions, prepared by our Martin Luther College faculty…..where Kelvin Johannes is attending).   Please take home a copies of each today.


Thanksgiving Day Worship Service THIS  THURSDAY (November 26th)    We hope that you’ll be able to join us this Thursday morning at 9:30 for a special service of Thanksgiving and Praise to our Lord.   Our also encouraged to bring along any non-churched family and friends, as well as any guests that will be sharing this Thanksgiving Day observance with you.  It would be our privilege to serve them and you.


Your Photographs are  needed……….   for a new church “Picture Display” in this building’s entryway.   We’d like to have a CURRENT photo of every one in our congregation.   Some of you have already had your picture taken today.   If not, please give us the opportunity to do so before you leave today, or next week.   Fred Cusanelli was at the rear entryway before worship today.   He’ll be at the main entry after worship to also take your pictures.  

The LORD called a reluctant Jonah to bring His message of repentance to Nineveh

 Jonah was unwilling – even rebellious – but the LORD  would not be refused.   We’ll be reminded in this study that in order to accomplish His eternal saving purposes , the LORD is always willing and able to do…..

Whatever it Takes…..


Scripture   Jonah 1:1 to 3:3




            The author of this book is considered to be Jonah, at least by most conservative scholars anyway.    The Scriptures don’t give us a great deal of information about this prophet.   In fact, other than in this book, Jonah is referred to in only two places in the Bible:   II Kings 14:23-25 and Matthew 12:40.    Jonah lived during the reign of Jeroboam II (793 B.C. to 753 B.C.;   sometimes referred to as “Israel’s Second Golden Age”).   Until his call to Nineveh he had ministered exclusively to the northern kingdom of Israel.   Bible scholars date Jonah’s lifetime from approximately 825 B.C. to 782 B.C.   We know that Jonah was born in Gath-Hepher, a town in Galilee about five miles north of Nazareth, and that the prophet’s name means “dove.”


            The book of Jonah is filled with many miracles (at least 12!.   Among them are:   Jonah being swallowed by a great fish and then preserved for three days within that fish’s belly;   the conversion of a thoroughly wicked city to faith in the LORD;   and the incredibly fast growth of a vine (chapter 4).   Because of the many miracles discussed in it, the book of Jonah has been the subject of considerable debate and criticism.   Many people simply do not regard it as factual/historical.   Instead they regard it as a symbolic or mythological story.   Yet, despite all the attacks on this book, we are always going to rely on our Lord Jesus Christ’s own personal testimony regarding the authenticity book of Jonah (Matthew 12:40).  Through it, He clearly attests to its historicity and factual reliability.


            When many people think of this book, they automatically think of the story of “Jonah and the whale.”   However, that story simply begins the book, and sets the stage for what follows.    The Book of the prophet Jonah is actually a beautiful account of God’s compassionate dealings with the people of Nineveh, as well as His gracious and persistent patience with His reluctant and rebellious servant, Jonah.    Each of us would also do well to take note of and put into practice the “missionary emphasis” which the Book of Jonah presents with crystal clarity.   As Jonah brought God’s Word of sin and grace to the Ninevites, even so we can bring His Word (especially the Law and Gospel) to people we encounter on a daily basis, as well as to others that we know and love.


Getting into God’s Word……..



  • “The word of the Lord came to Jonah” – commonly used in the OT to indicate the Divine source of a prophet’s message (I Kings 17:8; Jer 1:2,4;   Hosea 1:1;   Haggai 1:1,3;   and Zechariah 1:1,7)

1:2       Nineveh – the capital of Assyria on the Tigris river, about 500 miles NE of Jerusalem.   Nimrod built it (Gen 10:11-12).   It was the New York, Tokyo, or Mexico City of its day.   600,000 people lived within its metropolitan area.   The Assyrians were powerful, but also very cruel and wicked people.    The prophet Nahum later indicates that Nineveh’s sins included:   plotting evil against the Lord (1:11);   cruelty and plundering in war (2:12-13);   prostitution and witchcraft (3:4); and commercial exploitation (3:16).

1:3       “Jonah ran away” – He knew in his heart that he couldn’t escape the Lord (Amos 9:2-4; Psalm 139), but disobedience is frequently blind and intellectually impaired, especially in those critical moments when temptation challenges us to disobey God in some form.

            “Tarsish” – a Phoenecian colony, considered the “end of the earth” by the people of Jonah’s day.

1:4       “a great wind” – the second of 12 miracles in the book.   God miraculously intervenes to begin a correction of Jonah’s situation.  (See also Jeremiah 10:12-13)

1:5       “cried to his gods” – Pagans demonstrating their natural knowledge of God – and its inadequacy.

1:6       “Call on your God” – Note the irony that unbelievers have to order Jonah to exercise his faith!

1:7       “cast lots” – commonly done, even by believers (Prov 16:33;   I Sam 14:40-42;   Acts 1)

1:11     “What should we do to you?”  – Here’s an added irony……those unbelieving sailors try to save Jonah’s life, even though the prophet refuses to be God’s tool for the spiritual restoration of Nineveh.

1:17     “The Lord provided a large fish” – Although many refer to it as a whale, the Hebrew it means “great fish” and “sea monster.”    Jesus’ words corroborate the truthfulness of this event…..unique thought it surely was:   a fish swallowed a man who survived three days inside it before he was thrown out.



Applying the Text……



      1    What similarities exist between the situation in Nineveh and our own society?

  1. What is the “Nineveh” in your life?
  2. Many believers today, like Jonah, close their ears to the Lord’s “marching orders” in Matthew 28:19-20. God clearly says “Go” to us.   What’s our problem?   What can be done, in your humble opinion, to improve our collective “performance” in matters of evangelism?
  3. Why do you think Jonah disobeyed the Lord?
  4. Name a cult or Christian denomination that has great enthusiasm for “missions.” Why do you suppose their members are so zealous?
  5. What can a person expect when he/she decides to disobey the Lord?



Back to the Text


2:1       “Jonah prayed”  – please react to this:   “Man’s extreme is God’s opportunity”

2:2       “in my distress I called to the Lord” – see Psalm 50:15.  

            “from the belly of the grave” – See Psalm 18:5 and 30:3.   The word translated as “hell” (KJV),  “depths of the grave” (NIV) or “from the belly of the grave” (EHV) is the Hebrew word “Sheol,” which can be translated either “grave” or “hell.”   The context helps determine the meaning.   Here Sheol simply means “the grave…..the dwelling place of the dead.”

2:3       “You threw me” – Jonah doesn’t blame the sailors for throwing him overboard, but acknowledges the Lord’s hand was clearly involved in his situation.    Regarding Divine intervention in our lives, see Genesis 50:20; Ephesians 1:11; and Romans 8:20, among other notable passages.

2:6       “locked me in” – What’s Jonah saying about his situation?

2:7       “When my life was ebbing away I remembered” – see Psalm 42:4-8……Jonah repented.

2:9       “I will sacrifice…I have vowed” – In the OT, prayers were often accompanied by vows and physical  offerings.

            “Salvation belongs to the LORD” – a statement of praise that serves as the climax of Jonah’s prayer.

3:1       “the word….came to Jonah a second time” – God is gracious in giving us second chances (and often many more than that) to serve Him.

3:3       “Jonah set out…..just as the LORD had commanded” – better late than never…..



For Discussion




  1. What happens if we take the “fish story” of Jonah as merely mythological, as many churches today do? Does it matter to a person’s faith if this story is understood figuratively or literally?


  1. Of what should the time Jonah spent inside the fish and his deliverance from the fish remind us?


  1. What does a person’s attitude toward Scripture reveal about his/her attitude toward God?


  1. When has the Lord given you a “big” second chance?



Jonah 1


So the word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Get up. Go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach against it, for its people’s evil way has come up before me.”  


3 But Jonah set out to flee to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish.  He paid the fare and boarded the ship to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.    4 But the Lord hurled a great wind onto the sea, and there was such a great storm on the sea that the ship was about to break apart. 5 The sailors were afraid, and each one cried out to his gods. They threw the ship’s cargo into the sea to lighten the ship’s load.


Jonah had gone down into the hold of the ship. He was lying down and sleeping soundly. 6 The captain approached him and said, “How can you be sleeping so soundly? Get up and call on your god! Maybe your god will treat us with favor so that we will not perish.”    7 Then the sailors said to each other, “Come on, let’s cast lots so that we can find out whose fault it is that this disaster has come to us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah.


8 So they said to him, “Please tell us whose fault it is that this disaster has come to us! What is your occupation? Where do you come from? What is your country? What people are you from?”    9 He answered, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear the Lord, the God of Heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”

10 Then the men were terrified and said to him, “What have you done?” The men already knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them so.


11 Then, because the storm on the sea kept getting worse, they said to him, “What should we do to you, to quiet the sea that is raging against us?”    12 He said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea. Then the sea will calm down for you, for I know that this violent storm striking against you has come about because of me.”

13 Instead, the men rowed hard to return the ship to dry land, but they could not, because the storm on the sea kept getting worse for them. 14 So they cried out to the Lord and said, “Please, Lord, please do not let us perish because of this man’s life, and do not charge innocent blood against us, for you, Lord, have done as you pleased.” 15 So they picked Jonah up and threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped its raging. 16 Then the men feared the Lord greatly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows. 


17 Then the Lord provided a large fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.


Jonah 2


Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish. 2 He said the following:


    In my distress I called to the Lord,

    and he answered me.

    From the belly of the grave I cried out,

    and you heard my voice.

3 You threw me into the depths,

    into the heart of the seas.

    The currents swept around me.

    All your breakers and your waves swept over me.

4 I said, “I have been driven away from your sight.

    Nevertheless, I will once again look toward your holy temple.”

5 Waters engulfed me so that I was near death.

    The deep surrounded me.

    Seaweed was wrapped around my head.

6 To the roots of the mountains I sank down.

    The earth locked me behind its bars forever.

    But you brought my life up from the pit, O Lord, my God.

7 When my life was ebbing away, I remembered the Lord.

    My prayer came to you, to your holy temple.

8 Those who cling to worthless idols forsake the mercy that is theirs.

9 But I, with a shout of thanksgiving, will indeed sacrifice to you.

    What I have vowed, I will certainly pay in full.

    Salvation belongs to the Lord!


10 Then the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.


Jonah 3


Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: 2 “Get up. Go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.”   3 So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh just as the word of the Lord had commanded. Now Nineveh was a great city to God. It required a three-day walk. 4 Jonah walked through the city for a day, and he called out, “Forty more days and Nineveh is going to be overthrown!”

5 The men of Nineveh believed God. They proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least.